ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: feminism

We Are Gay & We Are Pregnant: How Unpregnant Combats the Stigmas Surrounding Abortions

***SPOILERS MENTIONED. This past weekend, while in my humble dorm room eating a bag of frozen cotton candy grapes, I decided to start my 7-day free trial on HBO and watch the recently released movie Unpregnant starring Barbie Ferreira and Haley Lu Richardson. I remember quite vividly when the trailer first came out and based on my initial reaction and Twitter’s; I thought I had an idea of what type of movie I’d soon be watching; another coming of age film that’s centered around teen white girls.  And yes, it was precisely just that. But I wasn’t entirely disappointed. In this movie, we follow 17-year-old Veronica (played by Haley lu Richardson,) as she and her friend, Bailey (played by Barbie Ferreria), travel across state lines to the nearest abortion clinic…. Read more »

Jezebels, Mammies, and the Dehumanization of Black Women

Popular culture informs much of our understanding of the world and the people around us. For better or for worse, we rely on stereotypes—created from both personal experience and depictions in media—to interact with society. This power can often be used for good by introducing majoritarian individuals to the experiences and existence of marginalized people. Too often, however, popular culture’s influence only serves to perpetuate racist, bigoted stereotypes about marginalized people. This is especially true in how Black women are depicted in the media. From movies to tv shows, music videos to theatre, depictions of Black women tend to fall into one of two categories. The first, the hypersexualized jezebel, can be seen in portrayals of the sexually active, sassy Black woman often used as a foil to a more… Read more »

Reproductive Justice-Themed Holiday Gifts for Your Favorite Folks

Now that Thanksgiving has passed and, for students, the semester is nearly over, gift-buying and gift-giving season is upon us. During the holidays, I like to give gifts that are useful, meaningful, and unique to the people I am giving them to. Here are some gift ideas for all of your feminist and reproductive justice-loving friends this holiday season. 1. Birth Control Pill Pin This colorful and simple birth control pill pin from Dissent Pins is a great option for people who like to make a subtle statement. It’s perfect for fashion-conscious folks and friends who might be going into the medical or pharmaceudical fields. 2. “No Politics in My Uterus” Mug Why not get that avid coffee or tea drinker something that’s bold but also practical? This mug is… Read more »

It Was Never A Secret

Victoria’s Secret chief marketing officer Ed Razek has come under fire after an interview with Vogue where he insinuated that trans and plus-size models are not attractive enough to be a part of the “fantasy” of their brand. The brand has been met with criticism since his comments, and #boycottvictoriassecret was a trending topic on Twitter. But let’s be honest: even if you haven’t seen what the models look like in the annual fashion show, anyone with a passing familiarity with Victoria’s Secret knows the brand always has been a blatant catering to the white male gaze. Look back at the “Perfect Body” campaign from 2014 that showcased only one type of body. Or the many extreme uses of PhotoShop. Not to mention the many instances of cultural appropriation over… Read more »

Buying Condoms is Not a Man’s Job — It’s Everyone’s

When I first became sexually active, I never bought my own condoms. I had this preconceived notion that the male partner in a relationship was the one responsible for buying condoms. It also did not help that I lived in a very rural town in northwest Kansas where the local grocery store did not sell condoms, nevermind emergency contraception or pregnancy tests. Looking back now, I realized that my belief around who buys condoms was a byproduct of a higher social norm for relationships: the man is in charge. The man is supposed to make the first move, ask the girl on their first date, and initiate sex. Since men are the ones expected to initiate the sexual part of the relationship, they supply the condoms. And in a way,… Read more »

Tell Me I Look Sexy With My IUD Strings Pushed Back: Let’s Chat About IUDs

Let me tell you a true story: I took the birth control pill for less than a month, and it made me feel horrendous. I gained weight, my skin broke out, and my pre-existing anxiety got even worse. This is where my first true love, my Mirena IUD, comes in.   I’ve never had huge issues with my periods. They’ve never been particularly intense or cumbersome, but, instead, merely just annoying and inconsistent. I decided to get an IUD by the suggestion of my doctor before I went to college. It felt like not only the responsible thing to do as I take my first steps into ~adulthood~, but also, the thought of not having a period for FIVE years sold me. If you do the math, that’s roughly seven… Read more »

Stuck: Black Women And The Country That Hates Them

In December, I wrote a 12-page paper for a feminist theory class that analyzed the historically violent and parasitic relationship between black women (and those who identify as women or are perceived as women) and the United States. As I wrote the paper, I asked myself how all the black women before me were able to get through their lives knowing that they would continuously be disrespected and dehumanized by their own country. With each sentence I typed, I felt pain and stress thinking about how America has sucked the humanity from black women and still expects more. By the end I was physically and mentally exhausted. I am still exhausted. In the past week, I’ve read countless reports of black girls going missing in D.C. and their disappearances going… Read more »

Chimamanda and the Art of Not Knowing

If you’re even remotely close to a queer person of color, you’ve probably heard all of the lively debate and discussion over Chimamanda Ngozie Adicihie’s comments on trans womanhood. As one of the most prominent popular feminists of our time, Chimamanda is a writer known for Ted talks and books, including the critically acclaimed We Should All Be Feminists, which aims to explain feminism in the 21st century. As a non-binary femme,  I’m not going to break down why Chimamanda’s comments were harmful, incorrect, and transmisogynistic. Multiple black trans women have done so, and anything I could come up with would pale in comparison. Instead, I would like to take the time to acknowledge one thing about Chimamanda’s comments that I know to be true. She had no idea what… Read more »

(Re)doing Gender: Trans Men and the Reproduction of Toxic Masculinity

                      With a growing awareness of trans existence and experiences, feminist spaces are gradually making more explicit efforts to include trans people. Historically, considering the reduction of trans narratives to men in dresses co-opting women’s experiences or butch lesbians with internalized misogyny motivating trans identity, revision is needed to move towards true trans affirmation. This hostility has primarily been dispensed by trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs) who position trans women as indistinguishable from men and thus part of the collective patriarchal oppressor. However, trans men have not been excluded with the same vehemence. While trans women are virtually disposable, trans men are clung to with the ludicrous belief that their stakes in womanhood are more legitimate than a woman’s simply by… Read more »